Speed or Base

Anytime you up your mileage, generally you can get away with good runs for a week or so.  Then a week later while you are maintaining that same mileage (for me it was going from 75-85 mile weeks then plunging to 90 mile weeks)…well my legs began to feel it around Tuesday of this week.  They hurt.  I was in pain and I was miserable to be around.  Actually, I keep my running moods generally away from people (except if I’m injured…then I’m just sad).

Anyways now that I have rambled a bit, My training has been about the same this week.  Mostly 10 milers, a 13 miler Saturday.

I had a tempo (5.4 miler) at 6:38 pace on Monday.  It was not a glamorous or even a good tempo for me, but it is done and in high mileage weeks you really have to be careful with your speed workouts.  You are much more susceptible to injury and pushing yourself to a hold a pace that you held while running less miles is not feasible. For instance, I have done 6:15 paced tempos when I was running 60ish mile weeks.  That isn’t happening now.  I’m over it.  You either choose to build a base or to hone your speed.  I am building a base.

Moving on, Tuesday-Friday I just kept my runs easy running in the mornings from 10-13 miles depending on my mood and how hungry I was.

Saturday, I raced a timed mile on the track.  First, I wanted so badly to do one of the 5k’s in the area.  However, this mile was a grand prix event for my running club and considering I missed quite a few for not being in the area full time-I needed to get this one in.  (that’s what she said).

Anyways-I’ll ramble about that race in a later blog but I ran a 5:31 mile.  On tired legs and feeling like dirt, I’m really happy with.  Actually-I’m just really happy with it in general because I don’t know how to race a mile.

Total mileage: 86

This next week, I’m really not sure what my mileage is going to be since I start interning.  I’m excited and nervous.  I would love to maintain my high mileage but I want to be well rested for real life.  I know in a couple of weeks when I’ve assimilated into what I need to be doing it will be a lot easier to judge my schedule.

Question for you:

  1. Lots of easy miles or few miles and speed.  Pick one.
  2. How do you balance working out and real life? 

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  1. Been reading for a while and this is my first comment. Yes yes yes. You have to choose. I am increasing mileage right now, and every time I throw in a speed workout, I have to back off mileage because something hurts. Very frustrating indeed! And Im still relatively low mileage (aiming for 40-50 miles)! I think the key is to build a strong base with lots of miles and when you’re running those miles consistently without injury, you can throw in some speed workouts as well. But as you say, even then you have to be very careful about the types of pace you’re aiming at!

    I think I would probably choose lots of miles if I have to pick; but balancing that amount with lawyering, wife-ing, and life in general is tough. I had to get used to getting up very early!

  2. Hollie, Your weekly milage is amazing. I think my highest milage week was 60 miles. This summer, however was the first summer in three years that I was NOT training for a marathon. So I switched my shoe to the Newton shoe, and I have been working on running form and speed work. But when it comes down to choosing, shorter runs with speed or longer runs with endurance, I would have to say I just love going the distance. I am not that fast, so running for me can be a little time consuming, and I am not really a morning person, so I am still trying to discover a good balance. I guess I have been trying to wake up earlier. lol.

    1. That was my problem at first too (waking up earlier!). Glad to know you are able too, I think it gets a lot easier once you do it for a week or so. 😛

  3. Well, I for one wish I could maintain your kind of ‘easy’ speed runs at a 90 mile week! Sometimes the amount I run doesn’t make much difference (my body is strange): I have had ponderously slow 70 mile weeks and cracking (by my standards) 100+ mile weeks. My body is not logical at all.

    Really I hate slowing down, but the last time I combined speed with high mileage it was stress fracture city (two in the space of a couple of months) so I guess I’ll have to be happy with being a snail for now 😉


  4. I’m not sure whether I prefer easy or speedy runs – I definitely prefer easy runs while I’m doing them, but speed workouts can be really fun 🙂 I’ll go with easy runs though since they can be done anywhere.

  5. I’m all about the greater quantites of easy miles! trying to increase mileage and speed at the same time…yeaah that’s how I got injured in the first place last summer hah. It was just tendonitis/inflammation but if I’d kept that up it would’ve led to worse I’m sure. So since you do have to pick one, I pick easy runs but getting to run a lot – if i’m not training for anything (which I won’t be for awhile) then I’d rather just be running as much as I want, even if it’s not at the speed of Bolt or whatever. And congrats on the 5:30 mile on tired legs, that’s definitely pretty baller! hopefully you’ll get the work/real life/running balance all worked out soon 😀

  6. Lots of easy miles. It is hard to balance a career and running…I would run so much more if I only had to work say, part-time, lol. I usually have to end up running after work and I maintain 50+ weeks. It’s hard too because I don’t get home from work and running until 6:30-7ish then it’s time to cook/eat because you’re starving and I also want to spend some QT time with the hubby! I give people A LOT of credit for balancing even more than just relationships, careers, and running…like putting kids into the mix!

  7. Lots of easy miles. No doubt. I have been having to get away from that though – when I have “real life” to do and less time to run, I just try to tire myself out faster so I feel like I got a good workout in. So, when I’m at the barn 8 hours a day riding two+ horses and doing crazy amounts of barn work, I’ll do a 4 mile tempo or mile repeats or something like that. I can’t wait to get back to school because I have so much time to run there, I get sooo many easy miles in. 🙂 CONGRATS ON THE MILE! That is absolutely amazing on tired legs. Good luck with starting your internship!

  8. Dang, girl! That’s one heck of a week of running! You are seriously inspirational. (And I really mean it when I say that.) Congrats on your solid mile time in the midst of all of that heavy training.

    This year, I’ve been going the more mileage route, trying to see what high (for me) mileage can do for my progress as a runner. I’m not really so good at balancing training and my real life, partially because a lot of my friends do a lot of their socializing while drinking and it’s no fun to me to be the sober girl in the middle of a bunch of drunk people. So, I generally accept dinner dates (lots of miles = lots of eating), but it can be hard because I do my runs early in the morning, so I go to bed really early. Okay, I’m done rambling. 🙂

    Have a great Sunday! 🙂

    1. You literally sound like me! HA-I don’t enjoy going to parties and drinking so dinner dates seem like the perfect plan for me. I normally just say-oh well, I gotta get up early so uh gotta go LOL.

  9. Lots of easy miles for me! I like conquering farther distances, and I will never be a cheetah so I go with what I got!! Awesome runs, awesome mileage!

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